Team Science Award

The purpose of this RFA is to stimulate the development of high-quality, multi-investigator (minimum of three) program project grants that will move forward to extramurally-funded grant awards.

Purpose and Overview | Eligibility | Evaluation | Timelines

Purpose and Overview

Projects with translational potential are encouraged, but not mandatory. Inter-programmatic and inter-institutional teams are highly encouraged. MUSC Hollings Cancer Center leadership anticipates distributing awards up to $150,000 per year for up to two years. Year 2 is contingent on the submission of an annual progress report (month 11) showing satisfactory progress toward project goals. Additional progress reports are expected for three years following the conclusion of the award. Any no-cost extensions will require prior approval. Sources of funding for the award include the Hollings Cancer Center Support Grant (P30 CA138313), fundraising from the LOWVELO bike ride, and other Hollings philanthropy/foundation accounts.

Principal investigators (PIs) are expected to obtain regulatory approvals (e.g., IACUC and IRB) within three months of the award decision. Please note that funding cannot be released until all applicable human subject and animal protocols have been approved and copies have been sent to Brett Bechtol (bechtolb@musc.edu).

Eligibility

  • Proposed research must be cancer-relevant.
  • Applications must propose a team comprising at least three investigators/project leaders and projects supporting a unifying scientific theme.
  • Must be an MUSC faculty member. 
  • Research must take place, and expenditures incurred, at MUSC.
  • The overall PI(s) must have a strong track record of peer-reviewed funding (active R01 grant or equivalent).
  • All awarded PIs and project leads are encouraged to participate as a registered rider in the annual LOWVELO bike ride event.

Evaluation

Each full application will be assigned to internal and external reviewers who have substantial expertise in cancer research and in reviewing programmatic, center-level grants.

Review criteria include:

  • Standard NIH criteria (significance, innovation, approach, and investigative team).         
  • Likelihood that preliminary results will lead to external, peer-reviewed funding.
  • Program project synergy (synergy, leadership, strength of the investigators, productivity, and potential impact of the proposed research).
  • Participation in Hollings Cancer Center programs (e.g., attend program meetings, participate in grant review panels, participate in annual research symposia, etc.).    
  • The Future Funding Plan (see instructions) must describe how the funds will provide data that is critical to future extramural grant application(s).
  • When appropriate, describe the likelihood that research will ultimately produce intellectual property, such as patents.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to consult a biostatistician when developing the research design and methods of their proposalsPlease use the Biostatistics Resource Request Form to submit your biostatistics requests.

Timelines

Letter of intent to submit is due Monday, August 16, 2021, by 4 p.m. This notification is mandatory to moving forward in the application process. Please send Brett Bechtol (bechtolb@musc.edu) a brief email stating that you plan to submit an application. The email should contain an overall preliminary title, preliminary titles for each of the projects and cores, and names of project leads, core directors, and other collaborators, including academic titles and departments. If any of this information or the nature of the proposed research changes at any time, you must notify Brett Bechtol as soon as possible.

A formal presentation of the overall program and individual project's aims, goals, and preliminary data for each application is expected, which should include a 45-minute presentation and a 45-minute discussion to emphasize the integration and history of prior/present collaborative nature of the program. This presentation will be scheduled accordingly for early September 2021 for each application. Details will be distributed after submission of the letter of intent to submit. The presentation will be for select Hollings senior investigators who have expertise in PPG or multi-PI NIH grants to provide instant feedback and critiques prior to final submission on December 6.

Full applications are due on Monday, December 6, 2021, by 4 p.m. Please email one PDF file of the application to Brett Bechtol (bechtolb@musc.edu). Notifications of award will be made after peer review in late January. The start date is expected to be March 1, 2022, and will be dependent on the status of human and animal studies protocol approvals. Applicants receiving a score just outside the funding range will be notified, with the possibility of resubmitting their application for a subsequent RFA cycle. If the final PDF size is too large for sending it via e-mail, please use MUSC-Box or MUSC-filelocker to share the file with Brett Bechtol accordingly.